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This is a senior-year internal course. We will focus mainly on the physical aspects of the oceans and their measurement and how they affect the climate and weather. We will spend some time investigating marine weather forecasting as it deeply affects all who wish to work and study on the oceans. Given our location, the North Atlantic and the waters around Bermuda will get the most attention. The goal is to make this an engaging, practical and interactive course.
Prerequisites: IGCSE maths and a science. More importantly, a love of being on the water.
The World Ocean History and Breadth of Ocean Science and Technology. Origin of the oceans, HMS Challenger, the main oceanographic institutes, industries and careers in ocean and marine science.
Seawater - why is the sea salty? How to measure the salinity. Effect of changing temperature and salinity on the density. How to extract freshwater from the sea.
Ocean Circulation and Climate -To include: The Gulf Stream, Thermohaline Circulation and the AMOC, the five gyres. Climate systems, Coriolis effect and El Nino. Atmospheric circulation and Climate
Waves and Tides - To include: how waves are formed, describing and quantifing waves, wave motion above and below the surface, fetch and significant wave height, effect of wind and current on waves, swell and confused seas, tsunamis.
Observation Systems - Ocean Variables and Measurement. This will be an experimental topic with input from BIOS and involve the techniques and problems with measuring key variables such as: SST, salinity, temperature, pressure and pH, depth and dissolved oxygen. Corrosion, communication, biofouling and calibration issues will be discussed. Also systems such as gliders, moorings, Argo floats, ships, AUVs, satellites, and Remus will be investigated.
Weather and Navigation - Every mariner who goes to sea is affected by the weather and the ability to know where they are. This section covers the science of weather, forecasting and navigation.
Oceans and Man - Man's effect on the oceans will be studied (maybe as a project?). Ocean acidification, ocean warming, pollution, fish stocks (how can we measure this?), and oceans as a source of food and energy.